February 02, 20171st2ndFinal
ETSU275481
VMI343771
Stats at a GlanceETSUVMI
FG Percentage.566 (30-53) .350 (21-60)
3P FG Percentage.450 (9-20) .320 (8-25)
FT Percentage.545 (12-22) .778 (21-27)
Offensive Rebounds813
Defensive Rebounds2721
Total Rebounds3534
Turnovers1410
Steals38
Bench Points118
LeadersETSUVMI
PointsT.J. CROMER - 24
QJ Peterson - 22
ReboundsA.J. MERRIWEATHER - 7
TEVIN GLASS - 7
H. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 7
Armani Branch - 8
AssistsDESONTA BRADFORD - 3
QJ Peterson - 1
Trey Chapman - 1
Adrian Rich - 1
Armani Branch - 1
Julian Eleby - 1
Keith Smith - 1
Garrett Gilkeson - 1
Austin Vereen - 1
StealsJERMAINE LONG - 2
Adrian Rich - 3
Julian Eleby - 3
BlocksH. MOSQUERA-PEREA - 2
Trey Chapman - 3
Men's hoops set for road trip to VMI Thursday
The ETSU men's basketball team is currently tied for first in the Southern Conference standings.
Men's hoops set for road trip to VMI Thursday
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

LEXINGTON, Va. (Feb. 1, 2017) – Having finished its first round through Southern Conference play tied for first place with Furman, the ETSU men’s basketball team will look to defend its standing in the league when the Bucs open the second round of conference play with a two-game road swing beginning Thursday night at VMI.

Tip inside Cameron Hall is set for 7 p.m., as the Bucs and Keydets meet for the 59th time in the history of the two programs. The Bucs (17-5 overall, 7-2 SoCon) will be trying for a season sweep over VMI (5-15, 2-7) for the second straight year.

Those unable to attend the game in Lexington will be able to watch via live video streaming courtesy of ESPN3.com. In addition, the Buccaneer Sports Network will also have the live broadcast of the game on its radio affiliates and via the live link at ETSUBucs.com.

The Bucs, who are currently ranked 12th in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll, are atop a crowded SoCon standings board, with both Chattanooga and UNCG just one game back of ETSU in the loss column.

For more on Thursday’s matchup, read the game notes below or click on the game notebook link to the right. For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the 2016-17 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.

 

Game Notes

 

We are “ETSU”

The ETSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to ask both the print and broadcast media to honor our request to be called “ETSU” ... East Tennessee State University in first reference is acceptable, but subsequent references should be ETSU ... On TV graphics please use ETSU ... Our nickname is the Buccaneers, but Bucs is also acceptable.

 

Buc bits

In his first season as head coach of the ETSU men’s basketball program in 2015-16, Steve Forbes wasted little time reinvigorating the Buccaneers’ program with an energetic style of play, an engaging approach with the fan base, and plenty of success on the court … In all, the Bucs finished the with 24 wins – which marks the program’s third highest win total in the modern era – and collected 14 victories in Southern Conference play, which is second only to the 15 collected by the Bucs’ 2003-04 squad … ETSU also reached the Southern Conference Tournament finals, which marked the 12th time the program has played in a conference championship game, and the team also earned a postseason tournament berth for the 14th time with an invite to the inaugural Vegas 16 Tournament … Heading into the 2016-17 season, the Bucs will be losing players such as first-team All-SoCon performer Ge’Lawn Guyn (Lexington, Ky.), 1,000-point club member Lester Wilson (Knoxville), high-flying dunk specialist Deuce Bello (Greensboro, N.C.), and steady point-guard presence Petey McClain (Mobile, Ala.) … Last year, Guyn averaged 18.3 points per game, while Bello and Wilson combined for another 16 points a contest … However, not all of the production from a year ago is gone, as All-SoCon selection T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) returns after averaging 14.9 points and a team high 3.1 assists per game a year ago … In addition, players such as All-SoCon Tournament selection Desonta Bradford (Humboldt), who averaged 7.6 points and 2.9 rebounds a year ago, and veterans like A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) and Isaac Banks (New Orleans, La.) will be back on the court for the Bucs … Post Peter Jurkin (Juba, South Sudan) will also return after a season in which he showed marked improvement throughout and finished averaging 5.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game … Fans will also get to see two new players on the floor this year that sat out as redshirts a year ago … This duo includes transfers Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) from Indiana and Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) from Wichita State … Perea and Glass are both post players who will quickly add depth and talent in the paint … Along with these eight returning players, the Bucs will also be adding five new recruits to the team, a group that includes a couple of Junior College All-Americans and a great deal of offensive firepower … The class is comprised of guards Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.), Jason Williams (Detroit), Jermaine Long (New Orleans) and transfer Kanayo Obi-Rapu (Greensboro, N.C.), along with forward David Burrell (Milwaukee).

 

The series vs. VMI

The Bucs and Keydets have met 58 times in a series that dates back to 1953, with the Bucs holding a 47-11 advantage all-time ... ETSU dropped VMI in the last meeting between the two schools by a score of 102-75 back on Dec. 31 of this year in Johnson City, Tenn.

 

Last time out vs. VMI

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Dec. 31, 2016) – Prior to Saturday’s Southern Conference opener against VMI, the storyline coming from the ETSU men’s basketball team had been that this game with the Keydets was the most important game so far this season. The Buccaneers certainly played like it. ... With a relentlessly hounding defensive effort and an offensive showing that included multiple dunks along with long-range 3-pointers, the Bucs rolled in dominating fashion to a 102-75 win over the Keydets. ... The Bucs dominated in nearly every part of the game. Shooting 56 percent from the floor and 77 percent at the foul line, the Bucs also out-rebounded the Keydets 37-24, collected 14 steals, forced 20 turnovers, dished out 18 assists, and outscored VMI 48-18 in the paint and 30-7 in points off turnovers. In fact, every player on the Bucs’ bench played and scored. ... Senior guard T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) led the way with 21 points for the Bucs, while juniors David Burrell (Milwaukee) and Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.) posted double figures with 12 and 10 each. ... Leading 47-35 at halftime, the Bucs saw VMI move to within 10 at 49-39 with just under 17 minutes left in regulation. However, at that point, the Bucs embarked on a game-altering 34-10 run that ultimately ended with ETSU holding its largest lead of the game at 83-49 with seven minutes left in regulation.

 

Last time out

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Jan. 28, 2017) – With the opportunity to best its archrival, the ETSU men’s basketball team went to the power game – and it worked. ... Senior forward Tevin Glass (Norcross, Ga.) posted his first career double-double and fellow senior post Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Istmina, Colombia) matched his career high with 18 points, as the Buccaneers bested longtime rival Chattanooga in an epic Southern Conference showdown 76-71 in front of a sellout crowd of 6,149 fans at Freedom Hall. ... With the win, the Bucs improved to 17-5 overall, 7-2 in conference play, and are now tied for first with Furman in the SoCon standings after the Paladins win over UNCG earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the Mocs (15-6, 6-3) dropped to fourth and are a half game back of third-place UNCG. ...         Glass finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds on the night, while junior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) posted a team high 19 points and senior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) finished with 13 in the winning effort. Along with his 18 points, Mosquera-Perea finished with nine rebounds himself and was clutch in the final minutes, going 7-of-9 at the foul line. ... The game lived up to the hype from the tip, as the level of play by both teams met expectations. Chattanooga used a 10-2 run to go up nine at 15-6, but ETSU’s defense clamped down at that point, holding the Mocs to just two field goals over the next nine minutes of play. While UTC struggled to score, the Bucs went on a 21-5 run to lead 27-20 with 5:09 left before the intermission. ... After the break, the game continued to be a back-and-forth affair, with the lead changing five times over the first 13 minutes of the second half. The Bucs did pull ahead by seven at 52-45, matching their largest lead of the game, but UTC quickly went on a 9-1 run to regain the lead at 54-53. ... 

It remained a one possession game until the Bucs’ big men once again made their presence felt. First, a block by Mosquera-Perea led to a 3-pointer in transition by Bradford with five minutes left in the game. On the next UTC possession, Mosquerea-Perea pulled down another rebound on a missed shot, was fouled and then hit two free throws to make it 62-58. ... While the Mocs would get back to within two at 63-61, a pair of free throws from Bradford, another rebound and two more free throws from Mosquera-Perea, and a steal and score from Glass in transition powered a 6-0 ETSU run that made it 69-61, bring the fans at Freedom Hall to their feet as the Bucs led 69-61. ... UTC would get back to within three at 72-69 with 40.1 seconds left, but ETSU continued to hit its free throws down the stretch, going 14-of-18 over the final four minutes of play to ice the win.

 

Off and running: Bucs’ start one of the best ever

At 17-5 so far this season, the Bucs are off to the their best start since the 2003-04 ETSU team finished the regular season and tournament with five losses ... That group -- led by the trio of Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.), Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) and Tim Smith (Newport News, Va.)  went 15-0 in SoCon play before falling to College of Charleston in the regular season finale ... The 2003-04 Bucs went on to win the SoCon Tournament and gave Cincinnati a scare in the NCAA Tournament, losing to the Bearcats by three and finishing the year at 27-6 overall, one of the best seasons in school history.

Bucs ranking among nation’s best statistically

Entering November’s Sanford Pentagon Showcase, the Bucs led the nation in field goal percentage, shooting a blistering 58.8 percent from the floor three games into the season ... Currently, ETSU ranks 24th nationally at 48.6 percent ... With a 68.3 percent clip in the game against UDM, ETSU came up just half a percentage shy of the program’s single game record ... The Bucs currently rank in the Top 50 in multiple categories nationally, including scoring margin, free throws attempted, scoring offense, and steals per game among others. A complete list of the Bucs current position in the national statistics can be found to the left of this note.

 

Merriweather, Cromer nearing 1,000 career points

Entering Saturday’s game with UTC, senior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) currently stands at 972 points for his career, while fellow senior T.J. Cromer (Albany, Ga.) stands at 930 points ... Both players are trying to join a group of 38 ETSU players in the 1,000-point club.

 

Bradford’s production key to Bucs’ surge

Junior guard Desonta Bradford (Humboldt) has put up strong numbers in recent games, having produced offensively in the closing minutes of wins over Samford (1/25) and Chattanooga (1/28) ... In fact, in his last three games, Bradford is averaging 19.0 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 54 percent from the floor, 57 percent from 3-point range and 86 percent at the free throw line.

 

Bucs currently ranked 12th by CollegeInsider.com

With their 17-5 start, the Bucs are currently ranked 12th in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll, which was released on Monday ... The Bucs are joined in the ranking by Chattanooga (13th), Furman (20th) and UNCG (22nd).

 

Back-to-back seasons with wins over “Major” opponents

While ETSU has enjoyed its share of wins over “major” opposition in the past, the Bucs’ have now posted back-to-back seasons with wins over teams from “Power 5” Conferences ... The Bucs dropped Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech last season, and followed that victory with a win over Mississippi State earlier this year ... The win over GT  was the firs over an ACC foe since defeating N.C. State back in 1991 ... The MSU win was the first since dropping the same Bulldogs back in 2010.

 

Bucs continue on 3-point streak list

Since Feb. 16, 1987 in a game against Davidson, the Bucs have made at least one 3-pointer in 917 consecutive games. ... ETSU was 0-for-8 in that 1987 game.  ... The Bucs currently rank as the 7th longest streak in the NCAA.

 

Depth, bench play coming through in the clutch for Bucs

The depth of the ETSU bench is becoming more apparent with each game this season ... Through the first 22 games of the year, the Bucs’ bench players have outscored their opponents in 15 of those contests ... For instance, in the road win over The Citadel, Jermaine Long (New Orleans) put together season highs for points (11), rebounds (5) and assists (5) in 20 minutes of play. ... Other players like Devontavius Payne (Carbondale, Ill.), who is averaging 7.0 points per game this year, and David Burrell (Milwaukee), who is averaging 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds a game, have also provided much-needed production.

 

Basketball Times’ ranks ETSU JuCo recruiting class #2

In a Basketball Times’ story by Tony Jimenez earlier this year, ETSU head coach Steve Forbes and his staff are were praised for their recruiting efforts at the junior college level. ... In fact, the Bucs’ 2016-17 recruiting class -- which includes JuCo first team All-Americans -- was ranked No. 2 in the nation behind only Southeastern Conference member Arkansas ... In all, the Bucs’ seven-player recruiting class for this year included five junior college additions.

 

Forbes makes USA Today list of “coaches on the rise”

ETSU head men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes was recently named to USA Today’s list of 10 coaches on the rise heading into the 2016-17 season. Below is an excerpt from the story by Jon Rothstein and a link to the entire list: Which coaches are on the rise in college basketball? Check out our list below as we look at 10 coaches in the sport trending upwards. In no particular order … Steve Forbes, East Tennessee State: Forbes won 24 games in his first season as a head coach in Division I and should be a perennial contender in the SoCon. A tenacious recruiter when he was an assistant at both Tennessee and Wichita State, Forbes knows how to find players. The Bucs currently have three players on their roster — Peter Jurkin (Indiana), Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Indiana), and Tevin Glass (Wichita State) that were all recruited to play at a significantly higher level before Forbes lured them to East Tennessee State.